How Web Intelligent are You Part 2

Copying over a post from my old blog…

Ok, we’re at #4, you have a voice of customer tool.

Where you need to go: At this point, we’re talking about the difference between understanding your online customers and REALLY understanding your online customers. The difference here is like reading someone’s birth certificate, and reading their tax return. If you were a car salesman, wouldn’t you just love to see your potential clients tax returns, before you chose which one to focus on? (If cars actually sold in this economy anyway!)

If you have a voice of customer / comment card tool, you can already read a lot, but we can go further, much further. Many people have asked me, how far is too far? How big brothery can we get? The answer is that consumers pretty much don’t mind you collecting information as long as they give it to you, or your collecting it anonymously. The big caveat here is that the information has to be used to improve the visitor’s experience, not for your own black book of secrets.

Next is Customer Experience Management. Basically, these tools give you some serious visibility into how users are interacting with your website. They record actual user sessions so you can review them.

As websites become more and more complex with dynamic functionality, web analytics alone gets harder and harder to interpret. Imagine a sudden drop off in your store cart. Thanks to dynamic content, it’s very difficult to see what’s going on. You know from your web analytics data that things are going downhill, but you have no idea why and no one has told you through your comment cards.

Enter Customer Experience Management (CEM). CEM systems like TeaLeaf actually record user sessions and let you review them. Think of this like a call center manager listening in on sample calls. “Your call may be monitored for quality assurance…”. Yep, so might your web experience.

So, you choose a couple of user sessions that were abandoned, and watch as they go through your cart… hey wait… why is that form returning that error? You’ve never seen that before… must be a glitch… someone call the developers STAT!

That’s just one example of what you can learn with CEM. You don’t have to watch every user session every day to see what’s happening. All you need is a few typical examples and even a small correction can make a HUGE difference.

5) You have a Customer Experience Management tool

Where you are:Seriously, you ARE web 2.0. You’re watching, you’re listening, your changing, you’re adapting, you’re making more conversions. And you’re doing it all and not being annoying or creepy about it!

Next HUGE step….
Where you need to go:Business Intelligence Data. You have no idea how difficult this will be. Eric T. Peterson thinks Web Analytics is hard, and I agree. This is… monumental… and the rewards for doing it are equally incredible.

Take all the previously mentioned technologies and information, then link all that with your CRM data, your ERP if you have it, your sales data and any other customer data collection system you might have. Then, lump it all into one well organized data warehouse that you can query at will with business intelligence tools.

Here’s a quick needle in this very large haystack: Imagine you’re an electronics retailer. I visit your site. I’ve bought something there before, so I’m logged in, and you know my name, where I live, what I’ve bought before etc. If you only had this CRM style data, you could send me an email to tempt me to buy something else related to what I’ve bought before and it may work. I bought a TV, you send me an email about a Blu-ray player. But imagine this.

The systems are linked with the web analytics data. The systems monitor my surfing patterns and quickly “realize” (through a scoring type system) that I’m actually looking at Blu-Ray DVDs, not the players.

Probably, I already have a player. Zoinks! You can now lump me into a segment of people that already have a player and market DVD’s to me, instead of a player. That may seem like a downgrade, but if I already have a player, why would I buy another? Send me an email or show me an ad on your site about a buy 5 get one free deal for movies, and I’m WAY more likely to jump in.

The power of web analytics comes from segmentation. This is segmentation right down to the person. Imagine knowing who I am and what I’m interested in. Then imagine showing me an offer based on that information.

Here’s another slightly less enthralling, but important example. You manage several web properties with various levels of technology behind them. They have different reporting, analytics, shopping cart and CRM capabilities. A data warehouse can take all that disparate information and combine it into one “single version of the truth” (thanks to Bernie Jeltema, my instructor at the University of California at Irvine Web Intelligence program, for that quote.

That’s web intelligence. That combined with targeted content delivery can deliver monumental results.

Ok, that’s great, how do I do that data warehousing thing? That’s the topic of this website, this blog, and the communities we’re trying to get moving. The technology is complex, but not unachievable. The brain power in deciding what data to look at, and how to use it, is the real trick.

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